Many of us have heard about Geert Wilders, the Dutch parliamentarian currently on trial in Holland because he criticized Islam. It’s shocking to many that you could be charged with a hate crime for expressing an opinion, but such prosecutions are not unheard of in the Western world beyond American shores. After all, most nations have nothing tantamount to our First Amendment. But could such a thing happen in the land of the (mostly) free as well?
Twelve years ago, the British medical journal The Lancet linked the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination to autism. Now the journal says that the study was compromised due to researcher Dr. Andrew Wakefield's reputed unethical and "callous disregard" for the children used in the study.
On January 9, 2010, an apparently fit, though slightly limping Umar Abdulmutallab entered the courtroom wearing the familiar khaki trousers, plain white t-shirt, and ankle bracelets that are the usual uniform of federal prisoners. The defendant was flanked by his attorney, a federal public defender, Miriam Siefer. Abdulmutallab was arraigned in a Detroit federal court. The 23-year-old Nigerian stood before a magistrate, and Siefer pled not guilty to all charges on behalf of her client.
Three years after passage of the Tea Act by the British Parliament, colonists were fed up to the point of dumping 342 chests of the iconic British beverage into Boston Harbor and becoming thereby icons themselves. The men (estimates range from as few as 30 to as many as 130) refused finally to be placated by repeated promises of change and reform and, rather than wait for legislative response, they exercised the Lockean right of “self-defense” and defended their God-given right and constitutional rights.